Creative photography to showcase Cairns – Australian Tourism Exchange ATE14

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The Australian Tourism Exchange 2014 (#ATE14) runs between the 11-15 May and is the largest annual tourism industry event in Australia. With Cairns playing host to over 1200 delegates from both domestic and international destination, there is the perfect opportunity for photographers to get snapping and showcase Cairns to the world. 

Ideal weather and climate make Cairns an excellent photo location. With this in mind, here are a few points to make your photos stand out. Who knows – your shot may be the next Feature Photo for marketing Cairns, Queensland, Australia to the world!

Photographing a Hot Air Balloon during ATE14

Photographing a Hot Air Balloon

Hot Air Balloon Cairns takes off just after first light. In some instances, the light is extremely low, and this makes for a challenging environment for the budding photographer. The obvious solution to low-light photography would be to use a tripod, allowing for slower shutter speeds to produce correctly exposed images. For a hot air balloon flight, this is not an option, but there are alternative solutions.

Using the side of the basket to rest your camera as you take your photos of the scenery will significantly reduce camera-shake. Increasing the ISO setting on the camera if it is not automatically adjusted will also help to keep shutter speed up. Bear in mind, however, that an increase in ISO will also introduce the likelihood of “noise” or discoloured grainy looking pixels.  A happy-medium is suggested.

Set the timer on your camera to trigger the shutter 2 seconds (or similar) after pressing the button. This reduces vibration from pressing the shutter button, and leaves you free to concentrate on holding the camera as still as possible.

Cairns is a tropical destination, and close to the equator. This means that the light changes quickly. If you find that your camera is struggling to expose correctly, or you have images that are suffering from excessive camera shake after taking off, wait until later in your flight to take photos. The light will rapidly “improve”, and you will find the glorious views of the Atherton Tableland easily captured!

Low light is an excellent opportunity to take some fantastic fill-flash shots of your friends and family flying with you. Expose for the background manually, and select the flash to fire, and you will have fantastic photos of a morning breaking over the rainforest mountains with your subject perfectly lit!

Using fill flash during a Hot Air Balloon flight ATE14

Using fill flash during a Hot Air Balloon flight.


With the Australia Tourism Exchange ATE14 occuring in Cairns, make your images stand out! There will be over 50 media representatives from around Australia and the World pouring over the thousands of images of Cairns and Cairns Tours. Make your image catch their eye!

Think creatively when taking your shot. Hot Air Balloon Cairns staff are ready and willing to help you produce a memorable shot. Put your thinking cap on and plan what you want your shot to look like. How about a jump shot? It might look a little weird, counting to three and jumping, but the result is worth it. Ensure that there is something of interest in the background, and you may just have the cover-shot for an Australian marketing magazine!

Creative Photography during ATE14

Creating a Jump Shot – creative photography with Hot Air Balloon Cairns.


Finally, use blur and framing to create an effect. Large apertures will reduce the focal distance, and therefore the regions before and after the subject are more likely to be nicely blurred. This is a great technique to highlight a particular subject.

Framing is another technique to help draw the eye to a particular subject. Framing an image can be done through using anything – trees, flowers, lines of buildings; what ever is around.

Creative Photographic framing of a Hot Air Balloon

Creative Photographic framing of a Hot Air Balloon.


With a little forethought and knowledge of creative technique, your photography will rock! Remember these simple points and have your holiday photos pop;

  • In low light, slow shutter speed can be off-set with setting a higher ISO.
  • Use available surfaces to rest your camera in situations that don’t allow for a tripod.
  • Use the timer function to minimise shake from pressing the shutter button.
  • Use fill flash to highlight your subject in marginal light.
  • Think about a Jump Shot or similar in front of your subject matter for unique images
  • Use intentional blur to creative effect.
  • Highlight your subject through the use of framing.

Let’s see your photo gracing the next marketing campaign for Australia!